Are you one of those people that looks forward to taking a nice, hot shower to decompress? It can be your haven from rowdy kids or a nice break from a hard day. Once in there, you think it’s your sanctuary. Nothing can reach me here. But you realize… you aren’t alone. A little eight legged creature is staring at you from the wall. You gasp in shock and proceed to wash it down the drain with the shower head. Those five minutes of silence are now ruined.
Itsy, Bitsy Spider
Spiders are actually arachnids, which sets them aside from other pests in the house. Arachnids have eight legs, eight eyes (most of them) and two main body parts. There are over 3,500 different species of spider in North America. The most common spiders found in the home are the following: Common House Spider, Wolf Spider, Black Widow, Brown Recluse and Daddy Longlegs. Most spiders found in homes can reach 10 millimetres long.
Arachnids come into your home for shelter. Depending where you live, they can be more active in the summers and fall (with a cold climate), or be around all year long (warmer climates). If you live in a colder climate, you may see some spiders in the winter because they are coming up from the basement or darker places in the house.
Some spiders can be poisonous, such as the Black Widow and Brown Recluse. If you are bitten by these spiders, or suspect you were bitten, seek help immediately. Black Widows are very dangerous and their venom can be lethal.
Signs of an Infestation
The good news about spiders is they are solitary creatures and stay to themselves, unlike other household pests. They do not create structural damage or pose severe health problems. That being said, you don’t want to have a multitude of spiders in your home, especially if they can be venomous.
Here are some signs of an infestation;
- Seeing them in the house.
- An abundance of cobwebs and spiderwebs.
- Eggs, which are found in silk bundles. Hundreds of eggs can hatch at once.
- Abundance of flies and mosquitoes. Spiders are drawn and pray on these pests.
Types of Spiders
- Common House Spider: This spider is generally yellowish brown in color and is found all throughout Canada and the United States. They are found in closets, ceiling corners, windows, and dark spaces, such as basements. They pose no harm to humans.
- Wolf Spiders: they are dark in color and hairy. They live in burrows and come into the house in search of warmth. They are found in dark spaces, such as garages and basements. While they can attack when threatened, their venom is not dangerous. Wolf Spiders live in Texas and California.
- Black Widow: These spiders have a black body with a red or orange hourglass shape on the abdomen. They are native to the American Southwest, but can be found all the way up in Canada. Black Widows live in garages and basements. As they are the most venomous spider in North America, it is imperative to call a specialist if you see one in the home.
- Brown Recluse: they are brown with dark violin shaped markings on their bodies. They are found in the South and Central area of the United States. These spiders are nocturnal, shy and keep to themselves in closets. Their bites can be venomous, so it is advised to see a medical professional if you have been bitten.
- Daddy Longlegs: This spider has long, spindly legs and a small body. Their territory runs all over North America. They live in basements, kitchen cabinets, floor corners and attics. While they are mildly venomous, they do not pose a great threat to humans.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Spiders
Now that we have the common species taken care of, let’s move on to getting them out of your house. There are quite a few categories in which to prevent and rid yourself of these pests: General Housekeeping, Holistic, Commercial and Other.
- Get rid of the clutter. Some species, such as the Black Widow, look for places to hide.
- Caulk and seal entryways you suspect these pests are coming in.
- Dust and vacuum your home. Sweep the cobwebs away as soon as possible.
- Fit your windows with mesh panels and screens small enough to keep spiders out.
Make a spray with any of the following scents: eucalyptus, peppermint, rose, vinegar or cedar. Spiders hate these essential oils. You can spray them on your countertops, floors, walls and areas you know arachnids frequent.
There are commercial products you can buy at Superstores and Home Improvement locations to prevent, repel and kill spiders.
- Sprays: this insecticide will stop spiders from coming into your home by repelling them. Use the product along your baseboards, around the entranceways and windows and in corners. Please note, there are sprays used solely for outdoors and are not suitable for use indoors. Be sure to read the instructions before use.
- Traps: disguising itself as a hiding place, this product lures in a spider, where it becomes trapped in the glue and dies.
In some serious cases of infestation or depending on what species of spider is in your home, contact an exterminator. They will get rid of the other pests in your house, which then deters spiders. It is important to tell the exterminator if you have Black Widows or Brown Recluses.
Spiders are great for the ecosystem. They get rid of flies, ants, mosquitoes and other unsightly insects.
On average 4% of people suffer from arachnophobia.
Ancient Romans and Greeks used to wrap spiderwebs around their wounds. Researchers have found that the silk in spiderwebs have Vitamin K and help promote healing.